Australia's rating woes make headlines

ABCNewsAs we’ve covered previously, Sega’s sci-fi-shooter Aliens vs. Predator was recently banned in Australia. The decision was largely based on the fact that there is no R18+ adult rating for videogames in that country, despite one existing for movies and other media.

Predictably, this news was all over the gaming press, but it’s nice to see the mainstream media weighing in as well. My attention’s been grabbed by a recent video piece, Fair Game?, as presented by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (the other ABC).

Adelaide journalist Adrian Raschella reports on the topic, presenting various sides of the story: the games industry (represented by Interactive Gaming & Entertainment Association president Ron Curry), the politicians (represented by SA Attorney-General Michael Atkinson), and even the gaming public get their chance to have a say (represented by a well-spoken 40-something).

Predator, as seen versus Aliens

Predator, as seen versus Aliens

The video itself is only three minutes long and well worth the time it takes to watch it – but if you don’t get a chance to catch the whole thing, the choicest clips for you:

Ron Curry:

“The government trusts us to be adults with film, but they only want us to be children with games.”

Michael Atkinson:

“This is a question of a small number of very zealous gmers trying to impose their will on society – and I think – harm society. It’s the public interest versus a small, vested interest.”

We’re not sure if this piece was aired anywhere other than on the website, but people have reported links to it popping up around the place, so it’s still getting a bit of attention (as well it should).

Incidentally, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which was given an 18+ rating in the UK, Europe and New Zealand, but an MA15+ rating in Australia (making it suitable for 15 year old gamers), sold more than 6 million copies internationally in the first five days of sale.

If Mr. Atkinson’s suggestion of “1-2%” of gamers being motivated to commit “horrible acts of violence” due to video games are true, then we’d have seen more than 60,000 offences committed around the world, thanks entirely to that single title. Surely something like that would have made the papers…

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